Following the Trail of Journals

In doing a journal, it is important that it is cross referenced properly so that later, if you or your accountant needs to, you can follow the original “logic” for having done the journal.  Accountants refer to this as being able to follow the audit trail.  This applies whether or not you actually have your accounts formally audited (the majority of small businesses are, in fact, well under the statutory audit threshold)

For example, you might keep a “hard copy” file of journals and supporting documentation, filed in some sort of order!

If a journal is being done to correct an error, you might also file a copy of the paperwork showing the original error.

It’s good practice to number each journal sequentially and use this unique number as a reference.  When using a computerised accounting package, this number will be the cross reference to your “hard copy” file of journals and documentation.

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